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Prep boys basketball: No need to wait on Trinity

Just three years in and with a roster of seven freshman, the Knights are well

Posted: February 28, 2013 9:52 p.m.
Updated: February 28, 2013 9:52 p.m.

One. Just one Santa Clarita Valley boys basketball team has won a CIF championship.

The 1987 Cinderella story Saugus Centurions won the Southern Section Division 3-A title, winning a wild-card game to get into the postseason and beating the top two seeds in the tournament.

Trinity Classical Academy, surprisingly, could be the second champion.

The Knights play for the CIF-Southern Section Division VI championship against Arcadia’s Rio Hondo Prep on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana.

The surprising aspects are that the Trinity program is still in its infancy and the team is still very much a baby-faced squad.

The varsity basketball program is just three years old and this team has just one senior and seven freshmen.

“That would be pretty cool, especially since the fact that we’re so young,” said Trinity freshman guard Andrew Pabalan of winning. “It’s crazy how we’re so young and able to make it to the championship.”

Make no mistake — this Trinity team doesn’t just think it belongs in this game, it feels like it can win it.

And why not — the team loaded up its schedule with teams in higher divisions.

On top of that, despite being so young, there is a lot of skill.

Three players average at least 10 points per game in freshman guard Marco Escribano, sophomore forward Ryan Brooks and junior forward Spencer Klehn, who leads the team at 12.0 points per game.

Freshman Ian Caddow is just behind at 9.9 points per game.

Statistically, Brooks has been the team’s best player.

The 6-foot-4-inch sophomore also averages 2.0 blocks, 9.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.3 steals per contest.

The 18-5 Knights have multiple options offensively.

It’s slightly different than the 20-7 Rio Hondo Kares.

Senior guard/forward Ryan Wiley, at 6-foot-6 and 155 pounds, averages 22.0 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.

Yet the Kares have an inside presence in 6-foot-3-inch, 205-pound senior Jake Holguin, who scores 9.0 points and pulls down 9.2 rebounds per game.

The Kares’ path to the championship game has included five straight wins, capped by a 78-74 victory against 14-13 Desert Chappel last Friday.

The Knights have won six straight, including a 61-53 win last Friday against Joshua Springs.

“In order for us to win, we’ve been saying it — the ABCs. Attack the basket. B is stay between our man and the basket defensively. And C, take care of the ball,” said Trinity head coach John Brooks. “Those three things we’ve been preaching the last two weeks.”

On Wednesday during Trinity’s practice, John Brooks brought in a guest speaker for his kids — his former head coach at Saugus High School John Clark.

Clark was the head coach of the Santa Clarita Valley’s only boys basketball CIF champion.

His message, Brooks said: “Don’t wait. Don’t go out there and wait for somebody else to do something. You do something.”

Judging by the youth of this team, “wait” is not in its vocabulary.


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